AMREL reminds you to be thankful that
our holiday meals have not been replaced
by Unmanned Turkey Systems
Biggest problems facing robot developers
Recently, I interviewed Rob Culver, Director of AMREL’s Business Development and Sales of Unmanned/Manned Vehicle Systems. Rob has done stints as a procurement officer, and in Special Projects Management Office at USASOC. After serving 23 years in the Army, Rob joined iRobot in 2005. He traces his lifelong interest in robotics to reading Robert A. Heinlein’s “Starship Trooper” and Douglas Adams “Hitcher Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.”
My sense is that unmanned systems, especially ground vehicles, are at some kind of crossroads. The technology is advancing rapidly, but the land wars are winding down. The domestic market hasn’t increased to the point to make up for the slacking demand by the Department of Defense (DOD). What do you see as the biggest challenge to the industry?
You may think of drummer boys as cute mascots or the subject of holiday songs, but they were actually important military assets and suffered high casualty rates. This Veteran’s Day, we remember a time when America’s children answered the call to war. Continue reading
Sometimes, a simple image contains a lot of info. For example, Dan Piraro’s “Bizarro” cartoon illustrates several real-world issues for unmanned systems, some of which are discussed in this blog:
- Is There a Robot in the House? and Walk N’ Roll describe the controversies concerning human-like vs. non-human unmanned systems.
- Why you should care about the Uncanny Valley explains problems of “almost human” robots.
- Why are there more unmanned platforms than customers? touches on the pros and cons of multi- and single-purpose systems.
As I write, 3000 air safety inspectors have had their positions deemed “non-essential.” The Center for Disease Control’s staff for tracking food borne illnesses has been cut by more than half. Bars in Washington, D.C. are expanding hours for idle workers. From these random government-shutdown events, we can conclude that that furloughed workers are being advised: don’t fly, don’t eat strange food, stay in town, and get drunk.
What about the rest of us?
As attractive as this advice is, it is not the best strategy for people who do business with the Federal government. How should Defense vendors and other providers deal with these shutdowns?
Notice the plural “shutdowns.” There is a very good chance that by the time you read this, the Federal government shutdown will be over. However, given the logjam that characterizes modern politics, an unwelcomed repeat performance is more than possible.
AMREL announces the launch of ROCKY DF6, a fully rugged handheld that’s small on Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) requirements, but big on options. This is AMREL’s fourth generation of embedded products.
“It’s amazing how many options we packed into such a small piece of real estate,” declared Richard Lane, AMREL’s Vice President for Strategic Business Development. “The whole platform weighs less than a pound, and is less than a inch thick, but there are three separate locations for antennas, as well as three different spots for connectors of your choice. Once again, AMREL has taken the lead in mobile computing.” Continue reading
OK, maybe not everything you know is wrong. However, at a recent National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) Seminar, I was impressed with not just how little I knew, but also how much that I thought I knew was simply not true.
Test your level of misconceptions below:
1) Interoperability is not the ability to talk with everyone all of the time. Continue reading
A familiar cliché in autonomy research is that we want unmanned systems to be like a dog, i.e. independently capable of some tasks, but fundamentally subject to the control of a human operator. Researchers at Auburn University evidently felt “like a dog” wasn’t adequate and went for the real thing.
AMREL announces the launch of the thinnest, lightest rugged laptop on the market. Leveraging 25+ years of experience of supplying rugged computers to warfighters as well as Public Safety officers, AMREL has developed a fully rugged laptop that is just an inch thick and is so light that it can be held in one hand.